To capture the first girls' basketball district championship in school history, the Osage Lady Indians must beat the team that denied them the same title a year ago. Osage and Helias Catholic take the court at 6 p.m. tonight at Eldon High School in the Class 4, District 10 girls' final.
To capture the first girls' basketball district championship in school history, the Osage Lady Indians must beat the team that denied them the same title a year ago.
Osage and Helias Catholic take the court at 6 p.m. tonight at Eldon High School in the Class 4, District 10 girls' final. Helias is ranked No. 9 in this week's coaches' state poll for Class 4.
Last season, the Lady Crusaders beat then-No.1 seed Osage 39-31 in the district title game. Helias entered that district tournament with a losing record. Osage was briefly state ranked in the regular season.
The roles are a bit reversed this year.
Helias is the No. 1 seed and Osage the No. 3 seed. Osage was up and down for most of the regular season whereas Helias has won 16 of its last 19 games.
But after avenging two previous losses to Eldon on Tuesday night in the semifinals, Osage will do whatever it takes to reach the state tournament.
Coach Scott Rowland knows the road to a district title is a daunting path.
"(Helias) and Eldon will probably be the best teams we've seen this year, which I guess makes sense," he said.
Helias is led by Olivia Hackmann, a 5-foot-9 senior guard who has signed to play at Southeast Missouri State, and Krista Haslag, a 6-foot-1 senior post.
Hackmann, a standout defender, guarded Osage leading scorer Summer Dean in last year's title game. She figures to get the same assignment tonight.
"Real good ball player," Rowland said of Hackmann. "She's just smooth all-around."
Helias will also look to feed the ball inside, mostly to Haslag, and exploit its height advantage.
"They like to isolate the post and go one-on-on there," Rowland said. "That's going to give us some trouble."
Class 4, District 10
Monday, Feb. 20
No. 4 Fulton 52, No. 5 Boonville 49
Tuesday, Feb. 21
No. 1 Helias Catholic 43, Fulton 34
No. 3 Osage 36, No. 2 Eldon 34
Friday, Feb. 24
Osage vs. Helias Catholic, 6 p.m.